Polish Toledo

This blog is associated with www.polishtoledo.com

Thursday, August 30, 2007

What dumb Polak are you talking about?

Polish high school graduate Tomek Kulczynski was declared the world's junior Information Technology champion at the 19th International IT Olympics in Zagreb, Croatia, last week according to Poland's PAP news agency.

Kulczynski scored 574 points out of 600, beating 284 of the most talented young IT students from 77 countries. Last year Filip Wolski, also a Pole, won the elite competition.

Polish programmers have won a long string of top awards in the field of IT, with Warsaw University ranking as the world champion in the prestigious TOPCODER computer programmer's competition and Poland coming in the second place overall.

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You'll never hear a Polish photographer say, "Say cheese."

They simply say "Usmiechnij sie!"

Friday, August 24, 2007

Housing Crisis in Poland?

There was an old lady who lived in a shoe... remember that nursery rhyme? Well in Poland there appears to be a family that lives in a tree. Or, maybe it's just a vacation rental. Photo courtesy of Janet's cousin Wacek.

Viewing Wacek's latest photos [Click Here] I thought Wacek may have been vacationing deep in the heart of West Virginia because the guys he's hanging out with look like either the Hatfields or the McCoys whose feud begain 125 years ago.

Turns out it was just a trip to the hills in southern Poland sitting with a couple of bearded taterniks.

As for the tree, I'm not sure if there is indoor plumbing, telephone or even satellite TV. But, they all sure look happy.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Votes for Polka Needed in PA

Polka Hall of Famer Jolly Joe Timmer for years has tried to convince the state legislature to recognize polka as a symbol of Pennsylvania. But the state senators and representatives keep dancing around it.

Another bill that would make polka either Pennsylvania' s official folk music or dance is before the state legislature. Since 2001, six bills like it -- four in the House and two in the Senate -- have been introduced.

The House has approved polka legislation twice. But the senators have folded like accordions every time they've had a chance to okay it.

In the latest effort to recognize polka, state Rep. Richard Grucela and state Sen. Lisa Boscola are leading the band. They've introduced identical bills in the House and Senate that would make polka Pennsylvania' s state folk music.

Insects get more respect than Polish-Americans in Pennsylvania - the official state insect is the firefly. On the otherhand, the picture above shows Wisconsin's official polka symbol.

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Polish Pub's in London

According to the Daily Mail in London, Poles are set to have their own university in West London - so it is fitting that the Polish community should also have its own pub.

The pub's name Belvedere will welcome its first regulars next month, serving specialities such as Zubrowka vodka and placki ziemniaczane (potato fritter).

And its name will resonate with Poles. Not only is Belvedere a well known vodka but it is also the name of the Presidential palace in Warsaw where the composer Chopin performed.

The pub is being launched by leisure chain Laurel, and is thought to be the first Polish pub opened by a major UK operator - following the hundreds of Polish-themed bars and restaurants that have sprung up in Britain since the former communist state joined the EU in 2004.

News of its opening comes after an announcement that a university in the Polish city of Lodz is launching an annexe in London.

[Read a review of a Polish Pub in London] [Or, a Cafe]

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Remember Killer Kowalski?

Killer Kowalski - surprising interview with one of Big Time Wrestlings all time greats.

What I have learned [Click Here]

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Annual Pilgrimage

About 27 thousand people from Wrocław, south western Poland, set off on an annual walking pilgrimage to the major Marian shrine in Jasna Góra, southern Poland. Over the 9 days of the pilgrimage, they will cover the distance of two hundred twenty kilometers on foot. On the way, they will offer prayers for the victims of the Polish pilgrimage bus crash in Grenoble, France on July 22 this year, which took the lives of 26 people.

The Wrocław pilgrimage is one of 22 similar initiatives around Poland. All the groups marching to the Jasna Góra Marian Shrine are followed by the Catholic internet service opoka.org.pl, where those who stayed at home can follow the route and join in prayers.

See Also:

[The Black Madonna]


Source: Polskie Radio

Friday, August 03, 2007

1944 Warsaw Uprising

On Sunday, President Lech Kaczynski decorated 32 veterans with state distinctions for the 1944 Warsaw Rising against occupying Germans. The ceremony was held on the eve of the 63rd anniversary of the Rising which broke out on Aug. 1.

"Every nation must remember its heroes," Lech Kaczynski declared when handing out the medals. "On August 1, 1944 the almost unarmed insurgent army faced the well armed and still potent German troops. The heroic struggle lasted for over 2 months and even brought successes in the early days," the president was quoted by Polish PAP news agency.

Even the enemy appreciated the bravery of the fighters, he added. Some of the decorated veterans are now U.S., British or Belgian citizens.

The Rising in Warsaw was the largest armed operation of the resistance movements in the whole of Nazi-occupied Europe. Originally expected to last several days, it ended after 63 days of heavy fighting. Almost 18,000 fighters were killed and 25,000 were wounded. All the while the Soviet troops lay idle across the Vistula River to weaken potential resistance to post-war Communist take over.